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You Can’t Vote with Your Feet without the 10th Amendment

Shane Musgrove
Campaign For Liberty
April 17, 2010

The will of the people, the power of the states

Some say that you can “vote with your feet” — a phrase popularized by Ronald Reagan (most often taken out of context) in 1976 and a philosophy some attribute to Ayn Rand which was alluded to in Atlas Shrugged. Nevertheless, taken for only the meaning of the phrase in itself, it is questionable whether that philosophy exists today or if it is even plausible. Others say, “All politics are local,” a catchphrase quote from Democrat Thomas O’Neill. However catchy these phrases might be, they are hardly true if we stare realism in the face.

Evidence of this can be seen in the back room dealings, the handling of legislation of the House and Senate, and the constant push against the will of the people. Last week, I watched a live vote on C-Span of the health-care reform bill and was appalled by the remarks, demeanor, and the political bribes that surrounded this legislation. Who was it that said “transparency?” That is a joke – nothing more than a campaign ad to gain power along with the slogan of change and hope. Pelosi, Reid and Obama have no such knowledge of the meaning of transparency. What they do know better than anything is “agenda.” For all the Democrats that are waiting to come after me, let me go ahead and say the Republicans have shown the same tactics, so the matter is not unprecedented on either side.

So, the votes were cast — just a little over enough for a win. Slightly fishy, as I am sure Pelosi knows who is up for a tough race for their seat and who is not. This is an obvious sign that this bill is highly unpopular. I would love to say all this came as a surprise, but it doesn’t — not now, not in this era. The federal government voting against the will of the people in order to fulfill their own wishes and desires is now the common trend. Whether you believe this legislation is right or wrong, you cannot negate the fact that an overwhelming majority of the public was against it.

Are there problems with our health care system? Yes, absolutely. Did the majority of people believe this was the answer? The answer: simply no. Argue with the data, not me. Therefore, the trust in our federal government dwindles and again the approval rating of the Congress drops even lower. As stated last week, give them all ten points of standard deviation and they are viewed as an utter failure by the majority.

They cannot run a Social Security program, the US Postal Service, Medicaid, Medicare, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, yet they can run a health care system? To the non-believers — do you not love paying Social Security taxes every two weeks? And to what end? Long ago a promise was made that this money would be placed in a trusted fund; not so — spent, disappeared, and we have still racked up a massive debt. China is on its way to owning the United States. Wherever you stand on the aisles of politics, common logic should say you cannot spend what you do not have no matter how good you think it might be. If the money is not there, it simply is not there. Bluntly speaking, the money is not there unless you want to steal from the rich and possibly the middle class, which is simply socialism. If you have doubts that it is socialism, read Marx. The underlying tenant of Marx’s political philosophy: redistribution of wealth from beginning to end. Simply stated, stealing what people have worked hard for because others feel that they are entitled to something. Hope for a utopian society? Not in this life.

Maybe you want this and maybe you do not. My assumption is that the many hard working American’s do not. Why would they? Another assumption: those who do not want to work and earn want things handed to them on a silver platter as if they are due to be paid something. Any reasonable person should know that no one in this life is entitled to anything. What do we deserve? At most, we should embrace charity and help those in need – not mandates from an ever increasing federal government.

What is next? No one knows with certainty, but I believe the smiles on Obama’s, Pelosi’s, and Reid’s face will soon change. Yet, another power monger will step in to fill their shoes no matter what party wins the favor of the people. That is, unless we can truly say, “All politics are local.” However, this requires the will of the people and the power of the states and a certain degree of boldness regarding state rights.

Thomas Jefferson once had the fortitude to stand against this and established the doctrine of nullification as he opposed an overreaching federal government in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798. A profound statement by Jefferson: “I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people. To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”

Therefore, a line is drawn in the sand between the Congress, the States, and the will of the people. Of course, men of valor comparable to Jefferson must be elected at the state level and this solely depends on the people and a gallant effort to bring power back to the states. To this end, it might be plausible that soon we can all confidently say, “All politics are local” and you may truly have the ability to “vote with your feet.” If the majority of a state wants it, let it be — let them say yes. If they do not, let it be — let them say nay and adopt the doctrine of nullification. Only then will power rest in the hands of the states and the people, which happens to be their diminishing tenth amendment constitutional right.

This diminishing tenth amendment right is a breaking point that we undoubtedly reached long ago. And to that I quote, “Whensoever the General Government assumes un-delegated powers, its acts are un-authoritative, void, and of no force.” — Thomas Jefferson

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